The cure of amnesia and Ars Memoria in Rabbinic texts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper aims to discuss an aspect of classical rabbinic culture that deserves more scholarly attention: memory. Though there has been a good deal of debate about orality in rabbinic literature,2 the systematic study of orality in relation to memorization has begun only recently.3 In his book, Michael Swartz proposes “a brief outline of the issue, sketching in fairly broad strokes the methodological and historical significance of memory for the study of Rabbinic Judaism and indicating some ancient Jewish strategies for harnessing it for the sake of Torah,”4 a task that he then expertly achieved.5 In this paper, I want to add a few new observations regarding the value of memory and forgetfulness, and propose an explanation for the mechanisms of these processes as understood in rabbinic thought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDefining Jewish Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationTransfer of Medical Knowledge in Jewish Cultures and Traditions : Peer-reviewed proceedings of a one-day panel-section at the X. Congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies (EAJS), 24.07.2014, at Sorbonne Université / École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris
EditorsLennart Lehmhaus
PublisherHarrassowitz Verlag
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9783447108263
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series


RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Memory -- Religious aspects -- Judaism
  • Amnesia -- Treatment
  • Mnemonics
  • Rabbinical literature


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